34 replies

  1. Have you ever seriously considered the experimental evidence, gathered over centuries, in multiple continents, for biological evolution? As a Muslim, you subscribe to ijma of the scholars, well there is the ijma of the scientists who consider biological evolution, including common-descent, macro-evolution etc as undisputed scientific facts. Micheal Behe, the founder of I.D accepts common-descent, which you as a Muslim must reject in order to maintain the literal notions of Prophet Adam and Eve being the first humans etc.

    Do some real research on evolution and common descent etc and be objective, removing your Islamic biases, and you shall know the truth.

    “When truth is hurled against falsehood, falsehood perishes, for falsehood is by its nature bound to perish.” Quran 17:81

    “Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you” Matthew 7:7

    ”Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” John 8:32

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    • thank you for putting me right Dr Collins.

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      • Which morphological-complexity has not been sufficiently corroborated by natural-selective mechanisms? Additionally, the concept postulated by Prof. Behe of irreducible-complexity, which he defines as:

        ”… a single system which is composed of several well-matched, interacting parts that contribute to the basic function, and where the removal of any one of the parts causes the system to effectively cease functioning.” Darwin’s Black Box page 39 in the 2006 edition

        The examples of the Bacterial Flagellum, blood-coagulation, the eye etc as evidence of irreducibly complex systems that cannot evolve by direct, gradual evolutionary mechanisms has been responded to by geneticists, biochemists and biologists with work-able-hypothesis of their evolution. Are you suggesting that you reject their explanations and some evidence at the genetic level of evolution of irreducible-complex-systems?

        I am willing to consider in theory it may be possible for an intelligent cause to start a system of inter-connected complexity that is functionally and structurally complete, but how would we know that scientifically? Are you willing to engage?

        I do not reject the entirety of I.D claims, just would like to have an objective discussion with regards to the scientific validity of I.D claims. Would you not like to explore these issues more in further detail on your website, as you do with Paul of the Bible etc?

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      • I am not a scientist nor am I scientifically trained.

        Can you teach me how can highly complex biological machines come about through unguided Darwinian evolution? Here is one example:

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      • The question you asked is:

        ”..how can highly complex biological machines come about through unguided Darwinian evolution?”

        Emergence of complex biological systems (molecular) can be explained through constructive neutral evolution. The postulate is that the mutations give rise to complex structures without going through a series of intermediates that are each selected for their help in adapting an organism to its environment.

        In reference to your phrasing of ‘’highly complex biological machines’’, the assumption is that of specified morphological differentiation, with information-laden structure and function.

        In other words, a system of interconnections, instructions, functions and pattern-based structure.

        Darwin argued through gradual change with selective pressures acting on variations, complexity is ‘’fine-tuned’’

        In any given set of biological organisms, say human beings, there exists variation in offspring with regards to parents. Children are not the identical-clones of their parents, they are much different, anatomically; phenotype and genotype. Certain variations between parent and offspring are advantageous towards the offspring, thereby endearing them with greater capacity for resource-acquisition, survival and greater-capacity for reproduction. These advantageous traits become increasingly widespread over subsequent generations. Resulting in a final product incredibly more different from its original ancestors. The final product is much more specified, complex, differentiated and suited towards its ecological niche.

        According to Biology’s First Law, McShea and Brandon, complexity arises over time, through differentiation caused by DNA-Sequence-changes. These changes are hereditary leading to formation of new organ structures. The evolution of increased complexity which would be favorable to survival, would become widespread due to natural selection. This is zero-force evolutionary law.

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      • Dr.Collins

        Did you watch the video?

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      • Burhanuddin1 – We have noticed you like non Muslims comments these days. Did you leave Islam?

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      • I watched the video. Everything in the video is common knowledge:

        Interphase= G1, Synthesis, G2, followed by mitotic division consisting of prophase
        prometaphase metaphase anaphase telophase.

        What is the mystery you are searching to find?

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      • Dr.Collins

        your answer does not explain anything.

        You write:

        ‘The postulate is that the mutations give rise to complex structures without going through a series of intermediates that are each selected for their help in adapting an organism to its environment.’

        In other words these highly complex molecular machines in our cells didn’t evolve through numerous gradual steps (as Darwin says they must) but just appeared fully formed – just like that.

        You have not answered the question.

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      • The complex systems originated in simpler systems; and those simpler systems originated from even simpler precursors. Changes in DNA-sequences that are advantageous towards the system were acted on by natural-selection which ensured that these positive hereditary changes (genetic mutations) become widespread over evolutionary time. What you are focusing on is called evolutionary phyletic gradualism, which is one specific form of evolutionary model. Then there is punctuated equilibrium which is much different. Darwin was a proponent of gradualism, but he was not wrong, since there is gradual evolutionary changes occurring but Dr Gould and his school do not accept the dominant gradualism view etc.

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    • Well put Dr. Collins.

      But I would remove the term “Islamic biases” with “biases of Muslims who think they are following Islam but they are following their traditional non-Quranic mindset”

      Yes, there is ijma that common descent is true.

      For clarity there is NOT ijma for Darwinism….there are a large number or expert biologists who say that it is virtually impossible in the time period of this earth for Natural Selection and Mutations to create any life, much less the diversity of life we have on earth.

      Another interesting thing regarding ijma…there is hardly any doctrine on which Muslims have had ijma on other than that the Qur’an is from God and sadly despite that ijma, too many Muslims focus on non-Quranic material passed through fallible tradition rather than contemplating on and reading the Qur’an in a holistic way.

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    • A review and range of opinions can be found here:

      https://www.themuslim500.com/guest-contributions-2020/evolution-and-islam-a-brief-review/

      Some of the more provocative paraphrases,

      “Man is created from one soul, so it matters very little if their father is Adam or a monkey.”

      “Adam was the spiritual father of mankind; Adam and Eve were not the first humans.”

      “The story of Adam is allegorical because the Qur’an, unlike the Bible, does not use proper names; Adam refers more to a concept than an individual.”

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  2. Hey Paul, great to see you back, I was really worried about you!

    I don’t know much about the topic, but would it be fair to say that the view of Muslims include:

    1. Those who by and large do not accept evolution, one thinks of Harun Yahya, Oktar Babuna.

    2. Those who accept evolution except when it comes to humans (Adam), one thinks of Yassir Qadhi.

    3. Those who see no conflict at all, including a number of professional biologists such as Rania Dajani, Fatima Jackson, Ehab Abouheif, and one might add also Usama Hassan (astronomer).

    But what do the Ulama say and is there any dialogue between professional biologists and the Ulama specifically on the theological question?

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  3. good questions!

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  4. The evolution of humans is a miracle of God.

    But why disbelieve it?

    Allah told us in Surah 29 to travel through the earth and see how creation was originated.

    Well, when we do that, we find massive evidence of evolution.

    We also find out massive evidence that a zillion….and I mean a zillion and not a million or billion or trillion but way more things had to be in the right place and the right time for evolution to occur.

    Allah made it all happen.

    Evolution is way more elegant than the idea that Allah made everything by itself apart from everything else.

    No, it more befits Allah that He would have created everything through evolution.

    Now, that in no way means we are only evolved bodies….of course not, our bodies have evolved but the essence of us is the spirit that God put in us.

    Allah tells us in the Qur’an that AFTER Allah blew the spirit in us, did He THEN tell the angels (and Iblis, was from the Jinn) to bow down to humans.

    Why would Allah give massive evidence of evolution if He wanted us to not believe it occurred.

    Evolution should make us humble….but we are not evolved molecules…we are the Rooh that Allah blew into bodies that evolved to be so advanced that our Rooh can use them.

    Evolution points toward THE God….not a Zeus type god….creation in a non-evolution way might even make God to be a little Zeus like and thus imperfect.

    But Islam teaches that God is perfect…thus evolution is more aligned with the evidence and with the Qur’an.

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  5. Paul,

    I will be more to the point.

    Darwinism in the sense of Natural Selection being the cause of life through mutations…well, there is MASSIVE evidence that this is NOT POSSIBLE.

    It is too improbable for so many proteins to form by chance by just Natural Selection…only God could do that.

    But there is a conflation of Natural Selection with Evolution.

    There are many Quranic verses that are in complete harmony with evolution…..but not Darwinism if Darwinism excludes God.

    Darwinism commonly is referred to as being Natural Selection….

    Yes, massive evidence shows that Darwinism is virtually impossible….however that does not mean evolution did occur.

    We clearly see that more advanced species came after less advanced species.

    So God created the exact circumstances that allowed evolution to occur.

    And at least for humans if not even more creatures, evolution is not the full story for God endowed us with spirit.

    Let us think out of the box and move upwards and onwards and follow the evidence that points to God creating by the most elegant of ways…by evolution…

    let us think out of the box and move upwards and onwards in expanding our understanding and benefitting from accumulated knowledge of diligent researchers instead of running around in circles and wasting precious time that God gave us all by not understanding the amazing signs (the Ayat) that God has sent us.

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    • Assalamu alaikum Ihsan,

      I’m not against the idea of a theistic evolution. I’ve a couple of questions.

      Q1: Do you believe our forefathers were like the apes ?
      Q2: How do you reconcile the idea of mankind from Adam and Eve as per the scriptures against the genetic studies which points to the opposite ?

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      • Wa alaykum salam wr wb Tiyaan,

        It depend what you mean by “forefathers”

        If you mean other human beings, then no I don’t believe they were like apes.

        What differentiates us humans from apes is that we are able to think in abstract terms…given enough time and training, we can think of the infinite….we can think of what happens in the horizon…hence why human ancestors buried their dead.

        And what most differentiates us is the understanding of good and evil….we humans have a profound sense of what is good and evil.

        So if you mean our forefathers meaning humans, then no.

        But if you mean what preceded the bodies of our forefathers….then we can go back to other creatures below apes and then even to molecules and the tiny singularity in the Big Bang.

        The scriptures were not sent in 21st century or 20th century.

        The scriptures were sent at a time when it would seem rightfully so absurd for any normal human being to read that we came from apes and so on.

        God will judge us as to what He has given us.

        He has given me birth in the 20th century and now I am living in the 21st century.

        I fear punishment from God if I don’t use my intellect and follow the evidence where it takes us.

        The Qur’an never says don’t follow the evidence.

        The Qur’an abundantly and emphatically says follow the evidence.

        There is massive evidence placed by Allah and Allah alone throughout the world that points to evolution, that is the progression of more and more complex life forms appearing on the earth.

        Is it possible that God placed all there to trick us?

        Well, I don’t believe that since I don’t believe God plays tricks on us.

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      • Tiyaan,

        According to the Qur’an, the human being was only formed when God blew the spirit in us….so the evolution up to humans is radically different from humans…we have sense of good and evil because of the spirit, not because of how complex a bunch of small compartments (of molecules) are connected to other compartments [neurons].

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      • Thanks brother Ihsan !
        Hoping Islamic scholars start speaking about it without dismissing macro-evolution alltogether.

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      • @ Tiyaan

        As a note, from my understanding (and QB can correct as he us the most qualified to speak on the subject) they weren’t apes or monkeys according to evolution. It is stating we shared a common ancestor that branched off evolving into different organisms.

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      • The theory is that we share a common ape ancestor, acco. To SI.
        http://humanorigins.si.edu/education/frequently-asked-questions

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    • @ Tiyaan

      Yes, it’s stating the same thing I just said (emphasis theirs):

      “Humans and monkeys are both primates. But humans are NOT descended from monkeys or any other primate living today. We do share a common ape ancestor with chimpanzees.”

      This is drastically different from “we evolved from a monkey” or “or forefathers were apes”. All living organisms have common ancestry with one another (especially if we go ALL the way back to single-cell organisms) again quoting from the link:

      “We’ve discovered DNA, which confirms that all organisms are related to one another…”

      As I said QB is infinitely more qualified than me to speak on Biology I’m just saying evolution doesn’t mean we are “monkeys” we simply share a closer ancestor to chimpanzees than other organisms on Earth.

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      • I guess you also don’t see a conflict between Quran and human evolution, so we probably don’t disagree. But the statement that our “forefathers were apes” seems to be true though, doesn’t it?

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      • @ Zeytuneco

        I’m neutral as I haven’t studied the subject but no even if I agreed with evolution the statement “our forefathers were apes” is inaccurate as that’s not what it states (unless you are being general with the category of “great apes”)

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      • Not sure I follow you. It says “But humans are not descended from monkeys or any other primate living today. We do share a common ape ancestor with chimpanzees.” So our forefathers or ancestors were apes from whom we evolved and who are not alive today. Or how do you read it?

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  6. .@ Zeytuneco

    Go to the link you provided and look at the graph for the mice in the example. Starting from the top jump down 3 rows with the dark mouse on the left being the starting point. Notice how the mouse “branches off” into a dark mouse on the right and a grey one to the left. Imagine the dark mice were humans and the grey one is a chimpanzees. During the evolutionary “branch off” they became two different creatures but they share a common ancestor. The common ancestor is not a monkey its is a “ancestor” to both species when life developed in Earth.

    For example:

    “Pinnipeds share common ancestry with other carnivorans such as dogs and cats, but are most closely related to the weasels, otters, and skunks.”

    Nobody says a dog, cat, weasel, otter and skunk are all dogs. They branched from a common ancestor. Regarding humans and chimpanzees its stating the same thing.

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  7. We’re not descended or evolved from chimpanzees because the genom simply collapsed. The chimps are more like cousins. But we are descended or evolved from apes, according to this scheme. Isn’t that what it’s saying? I am not sure what in the Quran cannot be reconciled with this, so I don’t see a problem. To others it is a challenge and so they must somehow square the circle.

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    • @ Zeytuneco

      You and I are on the same page. I haven’t dismissed or approved of evolution on a macro or micro level yet but I think its important to clarify what its actually stating first. Evolution is not stating we are monkeys (other than the general great ape category) it is stating we share a common ancestor with chimpanzees and that all life shares a common ancestor 3 billion years ago.

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      • Cool, if anybody thinks evolution theory says we’re descended from chimps they are plainly being ignorant. I just wanted to emphasise that we’re descended and evolved from apes because this is something many have difficulties accepting. It’s difficult to see why this should conflict with the Quran, but for some reason many still think so.

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